Navadra and Monuriki from Cast Away

Islands of Navadra

Islands of Navadra

We left Waya on Saturday afternoon (this was a week ago) to our next stop to an island called Navadra (pronounced “Navandra”). We had heard good things about Navadra from our friends on s/v Leu Cat, who had visited Navadra a few weeks ago. In Google Earth, Navadra looks v-shaped. There are two main islands with a narrow passage between the two. The anchorage is in the middle of the “V” with a shallow reef near the top of the middle. You can move your boat along the inside of either side of the “V”. The end of the V on the NW side has a big rock. In front of it is a protuberance that looks like a bust of a man statue. We were amazed at the resemblence to a statue.

Once we arrived, we were treated to a view of a fantastically beautiful beach with white sand, pretty volcanic rocks dancing on the beach in places, coconut trees and other tropical vegetation, turquoise waters, and beautiful coral. We couldn’t wait to go ashore and soon dropped our kayak and we paddled to the beach. We had to carefully negotiate the waves and ride them into the beach though.

We were soon delightedly walking across the soft white sand and Karen immediately started beach-combing for shells. I started taking pictures and exploring along the beaches. We found a cave that has been used by fisherman and other people as a refuge. We also noticed what appeared to be a grave site with rocks and shells adorning the area. There were fruit bats hanging in the trees and flying around. We also spotted a goat. There were three teen-age kidsm who belonged to the only other boat in the anchorage – the boat called s/v Nuance – and they were having a great time playing in the surf.

The sun was nearly setting, so we got the kayak ready to go back to Tahina. We had trouble getting on the boat and getting past the crashing waves. It took us three tries (getting knocked off by the waves) before we got back out past the waves and back to Tahina. It was a nice way to cool off actually! We then watched a very nice sunset before making dinner.

There was still a bit of swell coming into the anchorage, but it was pleasant compared to our previous nights at Waya. We were lucky we decided to leave the next day though as our friends on Stray Kitty and Jackster went there the next night and had a very swelly night.

I got up in the morning and went for an early kayak trip to explore the island. Just as I was getting ready to land at the bottom of the “V”, a loud horn crashed the morning silence! It was a small cruiseship announcing its arrival into the small anchorage. I quickly changed course and paddled back to Tahina to make sure this ship didn’t get too close to Tahina! They passed right by us and started to lower their anchor. But, they ended up setting about 200 meters away. The other sailboat wasn’t so lucky. The captain of the ship called and asked if they could move as they could only fit in one spot there apparently.

We finished our breakfast and prepared to depart shortly after. We wanted to make the 25 mile trip down to Musket Cove. We managed to sail for a few miles, but the winds were going to be on the nose for most of the trip. The winds died off later anyway, so it wasn’t a wasted opportunity.

Monuriki - Island where "Casta Away" was filmed

Monuriki - Island where "Casta Away" was filmed

Along the way, we went past the island of Monuriki – the island where they filmed Tom Hanks stranded in the movie “Cast Away“. Ever since I first found this island in Google Earth, I wanted to visit the island. We didn’t have time to stop and go ashore, but we drove Tahina right around the island to have a good close look. There are lots of photos of the island, including the caves where they shot that “tooth scene”, and the beach where he found all the packages – including “Wilson”. It was really cool to see the place with your own eyes!

Below are photos of our approach to Navadra, views of the beautiful scenery as we explored the island beach, pictures of Frank kayaking in the morning and the arrival of the cruise ship, and then several pictures as we went around the island of Monuriki where “Cast Away” was filmed. Check out the entire album below – make sure to click the link to view the full-sized slideshow.


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